Kaspersky CEO warns of ‘global cyber warfare’

Posted at 07/12/12 12:41 PM

MANILA, Philippines – The chief executive officer of security software firm Kaspersky Lab warned of what he calls a “global cyber warfare,” citing the recent discovery of several types of malware targeted at bringing down technology-dependent organizations and industries.

Kaspersky Lab CEO Eugene Kaspersky also urged nations to work together in managing these so-called cyber weapons.

“The international community has to try to reach an agreement governing the development, application and proliferation of these cyber weapons,” he said in his blog.

“This will not solve the problems, but at least it will help establish the rules of the game, integrating the new military technologies into the structure of international relations, preventing uncontrolled development and careless use,” he added.

According to Kaspersky, malware such as Flame, Stuxnet and Duqu have become the weapon of choice for “cyber warfare,” where certain individuals or groups attack technologies that aid in people’s lives.

“It is no less dangerous to the lives of people, cyber warfare can bring down economies especially when technology is well-integrated into major industries,” he said.

“If certain countries are heavily dependent on technologies, the infrastructure and industrial facilities, financial and transport systems, utilities and other critically important objects should be reappraised in terms of the approach to information security,“ he added.

Kaspersky believes that the recently discovered malware are “just the tip of the iceberg.”

“We can only guess what other cyber weapons are circulating around the world. I’m sure we will have more discoveries soon. I just hope it doesn’t get too scary,” he said.

Don’t underestimate cyber weapons

Kaspersky called for a discussion on the rules of engagement on cyberspace among governments, calling cyber attack an “act of war.”

He said nations should not underestimate the danger of cyber weapons as some virus can cause “an accident at a nuclear station, a fire on an oil pipeline or a place crash.”

“I’m sure other countries have also made use of such technologies, but before it wasn’t simply just discussed and everything was done on the quiet, little by little and secretly,” he said.

Kaspersky said malware is ideal for cyber warfare as these are effective and cheaper to build than traditional weapons, are hard to detect, and can be replicated at no extra cost.